Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Chonique Long - Prairie View A&M University
Co-Author(s): Yolander Youngblood, Ph.D
Certain species of Amaranthus are common weeds that have adaptive abilities that give them competitive advantages and invasive tendencies. Their high seed production, seed viability, quick growth rate, and C4 metabolism have allowed some of the species, like Amaranthus palmeri, to evolve strains that are resistant to traditional herbicides. This has led to additional soybean, corn, and cotton crop losses. For this investigation, different concentrations of acetic acid, eucalyptus oil, and okanin extract (from Bidens pilosa) were combined in a cocktail to test the hypothesis that the combination of the unique characteristics of each organic herbicide should safely and effectively deter Amaranthus growth, at low concentrations, but not affect crop yield for cotton, corn or soybean. To complete this study, twelve pots per plant species/strain were filled with field soil. The first six pots contained the control set for comparison and the next six pots contained the sprayed set. The control and sprayed sets both contained approximately 100 seeds of Amaranthus species. The cocktail solution contained 5% acetic acid, 0.2% eucalyptus oil, 17.65% okanin extract, 0.1% of Tween 20, and 2.4% DMSO in DI water. The organic cocktail significantly decreased the germination percentages of resistant A. palmeri (from 7% to 3%), susceptible A. palmeri (from 19% to 4%), A. viridis (from 45% to 5%), and A. tricolor (10% to 3%). After daily applications of cocktail solution, sprouts that did emerge died within 5 days of emerging from the soil. This cocktail should be a viable organic herbicide option, especially for susceptible A. palmeri. In conclusion, due to the components availability and low cost, the proposed organic herbicide cocktail could be a cheaper and effective alternative to traditional herbicides.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): SREP
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Yolander Youngblood, email@example.com
Role: I placed soil in plastic pots, then made controlled and sprayed sets both contained around 100 seeds each of the Amaranthus species. The bidens pilosa oil was then extracted from the whole plant and the cocktail was made. I applied the cocktail to plants and recorded the results.